Nick Carter is fighting back against two women who alleged they were raped by him more than 15 years ago.
The Backstreet Boys singer, 43, filed a countersuit against Shannon Ruth, who sued him in December for alleged sexual battery. In his countersuit, he is also suing Melissa Schuman, a former teen pop singer with the girl group Dream, who accused him of rape in 2017.
The countersuit states the two women took advantage of the #MeToo movement and used it to launch a five-year conspiracy to “defame and vilify Carter and otherwise ruin his reputation for the purposes of garnering attention and fame and/or extorting money from Carter,” according to the suit obtained by PEOPLE.
The countersuit describes Schuman and Ruth as “opportunists” who set out to “destroy innocent lives,” and caused more than $2.3 million in business losses after the December accusation.
Ruth’s attorney Mark J. Boskovich told Page Six, “Why should Nick Carter be believed with his long history of abusing females? A jury will weigh the evidence and decide.”
Boskovich did not immediately return PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Schuman, now 38, said in 2017 that Carter allegedly raped her while the two were working on a project together in the early 2000s. Schuman wrote a blog on her website at the time that stated she was invited to Carter’s home, and the two began kissing in the bathroom before he performed oral sex on her despite her objection.
She was 18, and he was 22 years old at the time, she said.
Despite allegedly telling Carter that she was a virgin and waiting until marriage to have sex, Carter allegedly led her to his bedroom, where she claims that he raped her.
In December, Ruth announced she was suing Carter during a press conference.
Ruth, who has autism and cerebral palsy, claimed she was waiting in an autograph line after a 2001 Backstreet Boys show in Tacoma, Washington, when Carter invited her to his bus.
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The singer allegedly asked Ruth if she wanted a drink, and when she requested apple juice, he gave her a red-colored drink he called “VIP juice,” the documents claim. Though Carter allegedly said the beverage was cranberry juice, Ruth believes it also contained alcohol.
Carter has previously denied both allegations. The countersuit states he believes he has never met Ruth.
Carter’s attorneys did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
The countersuit alleges Schuman and her father Jerome Schuman groomed Ruth, who “was a vulnerable and highly impressionable individual, craving attention and desperate to fit in.”
The claims in the countersuit also allege that Schuman took advantage of his late brother Aaron Carter, who died in November.
“The Schumans’ timing couldn’t have been better since, at the time, Aaron was addicted to drugs, battling serious mental health issues, and engaged in a misguided campaign of retaliation against Carter and other members of his family who were worried about Aaron and pushing him to seek professional help,” according to the suit. “Schuman, Jerome, and Ruth exploited Aaron’s fragile condition and family stresses to cloak their defamatory campaign with credibility, relentlessly and repeatedly using Aaron to try to legitimize their frivolous tales.”
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According to the lawsuit, Aaron realized he was being used and apologized to Carter.
“In the months leading up to his recent death, Aaron not only apologized to Carter for his involvement in the Counter-Defendants’ smear campaign, but publicly stated that Schuman and Ruth were liars,” the lawsuit states.
The countersuit is Carter’s attempt to clear his name.
“Just as true victims of sexual assault have the right to seek justice and be heard, so too do persons falsely accused of sexual assault have the right to due process of law and to defend themselves by speaking the truth,” the suit states.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.